- Briefing Room
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Emergency Relief, or ER, program can help State and local agencies fund repairs to Federal-aid eligible roads, bridges, and other infrastructure after a natural disaster such as such as a flood, heavy winds, and other events.
The repair work within the right-of-way of Federal-aid highways is usually eligible to receive ER funds, if the roadway is in an affected county that is included in the Governor’s Declaration or Presidential Declaration.
The decision to seek financial assistance for a disaster event under the FHWA’s ER program rests with the Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT). Local agencies with damage to Federal-aid highways should make their application for ER reimbursement through Iowa DOT. It is Iowa DOT’s responsibility to seek ER funding for the repair of Federal-aid highways, regardless of which jurisdiction.
The FHWA Emergency Relief Manual outlines two types of repairs following a disaster: emergency repairs and permanent repairs.
Damage Assessments: Iowa DOT, in cooperation with FHWA Iowa Division engineers, undertakes damage surveys and/or detailed site inspections. This may include local authorities where appropriate. Typically, this involves on-the-ground visits of the damage sites to verify the extent of damage and to determine the cost of repairs eligible for ER funding. Specific sites not visited by FHWA are subject to review and approval of all required documentation.
Implementation of Projects: ER construction contracts are advanced generally in similar fashion as regular Federal-aid highway projects. Iowa DOT generally takes the lead in seeing that projects are advanced in accordance with appropriate Federal and State requirements. The total amount of ER funding provided is based on the Federal share of actual costs incurred by Iowa DOT and local highway authorities to complete eligible repair activities.
The Final ER eligibility and reimbursement will be based on the documentation submitted showing cost, justification, and compliance with Federal requirements.
The Emergency Relief process is explained in a series of four videos:
Note: Each video has a printable “Companion Resource” on its website.
Links to related Code of Federal Regulations and other information